Wading boots

radamo_pgh

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I’m just beginning and ordered a pair of waders, do I need wading boots or can I get away with a pair of hiking boots initially.

thanks
 

jayr

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You will probably trash your hiking boots not to mention the soles might not be the best for wading. In short, I would not use them. The water will really mess them up if they are leather. Now if your hiking boots are pretty much toast anyway, go ahead but good wading boots are worth every penny.
 

jayr

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I have owned/used several wading boots over the years. Korkers, Simms, Frog Togs, Chota and an old pair of Red Balls. One thing I have learned is to buy the best you can afford, otherwise you will be buying multiple pairs to finally have a decent long lasting pair of boots. If you fish quite a bit, your feet and in the end your pocketbook will appreciate that.

Now, pretty much everyone has their favorite maker and multiple responses will give you multiple suggestions. For me, I have found Simms to last as long as most if not longer. But that's just me. Another thing to consider is how much walking outside of fishing you will be doing. Are you walking/hiking a long way in to fish? That makes a difference as well. I cannot speak for lugged soles, all my boots are felt which works best where I primarily fish and the states I fish in have no felt restrictions.
 

RMflyguy

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I’m a fan of Simms Flyweight Boots with Vibram sole. Good ankle protection which is important to me and I‘m a fan of keeping things light as I like to hike in and explore. Like jayr, I recommend purchasing the best you can afford. I also make an effort to rinse and thoroughly dry my boots after each use to maximize their useful life.
 

Lamarsh

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Definitely need wading boots. They are sized larger to take into account the fact that you have a cumbersome neoprene sock on, as well as being designed to be in water. Sure, you could probably get away with an old pair of boots that are 2-3 sizes too large, but with how cheap you can find decent pairs for, I would look into getting a pair.

"High end" companies like Simms and Patagonia are now making mid range priced boots that are way more affordable than their top lines that they used to exclusively carry.

You can also check out big box stores like Cabelas, they usually have their own branded boots that I have heard people like.
 

Hayden Creek

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If you hike much to fish IMO the Simms Fly weight rubber sole is the best blend of hiking/ wading boot I have used.
 

coug

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I remember starting out with disposable "waders" that were $10 and old tennis shoes. You will find any kind of wading boot from a good company will be orders of magnitude better than old shoes or boots. For safety if nothing else, they are designed to keep you upright in the water. See how that goes and step up in durability, price, and comfort when you are ready. But the biggest jump will be between tennis shoes/old boots and your first pair of wading boots.
 

sasquatch7

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Korker Darkhorse with felt studded soles and a set of Vibram soles for boats . On a pair now for four years and I only had to buy a replacement set of soles . Love the locking mech on them too , no laces to mess with .
 

frickerdog

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If you fish less turbulent waters, and want a boot that doesn't go halfway up your shin, I recommend for Orvis Ultralights (Vibram), but I've noticed that they jacked the price by $20 in recent months up to $189. Buy 1 size up from your regular shoe size, and you will be good to go.
 

patrick62

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Keep your eye peeled for discontinued boots on discount sites like Sierra and Steep and Cheap.

I usually have five sets of wading boots in action at any given time. Size 9 rubber, size 9 felt, size 10 ditto for cold weather, and wet wading boots, currently a discontinued Simms rubber sole boot with a built in neoprene sock.

Why so many? If I'm fishing the Housatonic or Esopus, with minimal bushwhacking, I go with felt. If I'm fishing a small stream with serious clambering, I use rubber, as felt is not so good when traversing a steep hillside covered with dead leaves.

I put Kold Kutters studs in all my boots. $20 or so gets you 500. I don't anticipate needing a fresh supply anytime soon.

And I also carry a wading stick everywhere, because you never know when you might need an extra leg.
 
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JoJer

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My current wading boots are on the opposite end of the price spectrum: My felts are branded Redington and the Vibram soled are Caddis. The felts I lucked into on sale at Dick's-$13.00 on close out! I should have bought every pair they had left. The Caddis are canvas and fill the bill when felts are prohibited. I think I paid about $30. for them. Both are cleated with slotted hex-head #14 X 3/4"sheet metal screws. Box of 30, $7 at Home Depot.
Just make sure you have lots of toe wiggle room inside with your waders on. Cramped toes get cold. Also, if you're not going the neoprene sock route, get some wicking socks for inside the waders-Polypro etc. If you get boot-high sox, you can tuck your warmth layer into the socks so they don't end up down in the boot. Not much difference between synthetic fleece sweat pants and those sold as wader pants for cooler seasons. If you get the sweats with elastic cuffs, they go over the sox and hold them up.
 

Acheron

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I enjoyed Korkers when I had them but the Simms fit me a lot better and have lasted longer. Simms seems to win when it comes to boots and waders (although my patagonia waders are doing well so far).

I've have super cheap BPS white river boots, hodgman, korkers, simms, and many more. Go with Simms with Vibram soles.
 

hatidua

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Either metal studs, aluminum bars, or felt (where allowed) can prevent some painful slipping events.

I've tried various "sticky rubber" soles from the well known fishing brands and didn't find them to have traction any better than rubber flip-flops.
 
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